Sharing Their Story: Thirteen SalonMar 15, 2021 02:23PM ● By Harper Klein
Next to a best friend or spouse, a hairstylist just may be the most important person in your life. But for countless California hair salons, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the people who put their life savings and dreams into their shops. At Walnut Creek Magazine, we believe small businesses make our city unique and we are using our platform to highlight their stories in these difficult times.
Last March, when the first shelter-in-place order was issued, Thirteen was forced to shut down. As April came and May went, hair salons remained shuttered. June passed too, but under 100-degree July skies, business owners got the green light to open outdoors. Then on the cusp of Labor Day, public health officials allowed the beauty sector to reopen indoors under strict protocols. But the love affair was short-lived. As December rolled in, with it came another coronavirus surge, forcing the industry to close its doors again.
For salon operators, heavily regulated by the State Board of Cosmetology, none of this made any sense. Stringent health and safety standards for their industry set them apart from almost every other business sector. “We’ve been treated much differently than restaurants and retailers. We've tried to approach this covid horror legally, and on the up and up,” says Thirteen Salon owner Var Fultz. “It’s been tough, but we’re slowly making a comeback and looking for new talent to join our team.”
It was 2004 when Var, along with his mother Connie Jamieson, opened Thirteen Salon. He began working in the hair industry in 1985 right out of high school at notable salons in Arizona, Chicago, Illinois, and California. Connie, a natural talent, entered the business when she was 40, joining Leeza DFK before moving on to Indulge and later opening Thirteen with Var.
Seventeen years later, the mother/son team continue working together at their Aveda-concept salon on North Broadway in Walnut Creek. “It is one of the greatest privileges to work with my mother and make women feel beautiful,” says Var. “Women don’t have barriers here. We get to help them feel good. And if you feel good, you make other people feel good too.”
“We have a real connection with people. It’s life-changing,” says Connie. “The minute I step behind my chair, all is good in the world,” adds Var. “There is nothing else I would rather do for a living.” 1768 N Broadway, WC, (925) 932-2242, 13hairsalon.com.